Post #426 A Short Weekend Outa Town

October 12, 2015 at 10:23 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #426 A Short Weekend Outa Town

So, we made it outa town this weekend.  Got back in the early afternoon on Sunday.  Had a great time all around.  We went to Historic Colonial Williamsburg.  Been there many times and it was a treat seeing it all again.  We even had dinner reservations at one of the historic taverns.  Took the dogs with us, too, since the motel we stayed at allowed pets.  Because of traffic difficulties in and around the Norfolk area, we didn’t get to the hotel until around 6:30.  Too late to go see anything, so we decided to treat ourselves to a nice evening out, dinner, wine, and dessert.

We chose a steak house just up the road from the hotel called The Aberdeen Barn.  We chose it, hoping the Aberdeen name meant it followed the same ideals as the town it’s named after in regards to steak.  The western cow-towns all treat beef properly, in my experience, and it’s the only way to get a really tender steak.  The Aberdeen Barn lived up to its name.  We started with wine and the one I got was so mellow and so smooth it was like drinking air.  We took a pic of the advert so I will remember its name.  Had two glasses.  Partner/Spouse got a pinot noir from a winery called Pepperwood Garden.  It was also very light and an excellent choice.

wine advert

They had set down a pot of cheese, some pretzel sticks and crackers so we could nibble with our wine while we perused the menu.  It’s a steak house, so what are you going to order fish for, right?  I got a Delmonico steak and Partner/Spouse got a top Sirloin, one of the most tender cuts there is.  Salads to start, and potatoes with the steaks.  I got one of the best ribeye steaks I’ve ever enjoyed at a restaurant.  I could almost cut it with just a fork.  I certainly didn’t need the saw-toothed machete they gave me.  So we ate and drank slowly, savoring the meal and the pleasure of being on a mini-vacay.

The next day started with an okay breakfast at a really bad diner called Old Mill Waffles and Pancakes.  Our road was stuffed to the gills with pancake houses and breakfast diners.  We just chose badly.  But the food itself, once we got it, was decent and well priced.  We spent the morning shopping at our favorite stores.  It was a sprinkling kind of morning so staying indoors was the right thing to do.  Around noon-ish we went to historic Williamsburg.  What a treat!  As I said, we’ve been there before and know our way around and had a blast.  Most of the fun comes from watching other people, particularly the ones who are there for the first time.  We got to see some target practice, and a fife and drum parade, and Gen. Lafayette and his aide on horses, and little kids in the stocks.  In one out of the way corner, there was a woman in period clothing sitting on a bench singing.  She had a beautiful voice.  We stopped in some stores and looked around a bit.  I bought two bottles of wine (surprised?) and a flint and steel to start fires.  And a new cookbook with recipes from the town’s taverns.  We stopped at a “bakery” and got biscuits with Virginia ham.  Ever have Virginia ham?  Think pork flavored salt and you’ve got a good idea of what this is.  It’s a preserved ham, very salty, and it’s used in dishes like pork and beans, and ham salads.  If you’re going to use it as a main dish, you need to soak it for several hours and in several different baths of water to remove as much salt as possible.

We went back to the hotel to relax (we needed it) and to take care of the dogs.  Our reservation was at 6 but by 5 we both decided to blow off the reservation and eat someplace close by.  We went to a Thai restaurant and had a blast.  Our waitress kept up laughing, and we kept her laughing and we all had a good time.  One funny thing that happened was at the table next to us.  A younger couple sat down and she went to the restroom right away.  The young man sat there squirming and twitching.  He kept looking around for her but finally the call of nature was too much for him.  He grabbed his wife’s purse and quickly moved to the restroom.  I started laughing and told Partner/Spouse that poor woman was going to return to her table and wonder what the hell happened.  Twenty seconds later, she did and she did.  I motioned her over.  “He really needed the restroom,” I said, “And he took your purse with him so it wouldn’t be taken.”  She laughed along with us and sat down.  He returned a couple of minutes later and I heard her say, “That purse really doesn’t go with those shoes.”

We went to a store and bought more wine and cake for dessert.  It was good.  We watched a marathon cooking show on television and relaxed.

Sunday morning, packing up the car, it’s always a hassle.  You want to make sure you don’t forget anything, and you want the car to be as comfortable as possible.  You want the dogs to settle down and sleep the whole trip.  And you want the dogs . . . . uh, dogs? . . . . uh, where are the dogs?  They slipped out of the room during one of the trips to and from the car!  Boom, we were both running up and down the breezeways to and from the parking lot and dog walking area.  Partner/Spouse found them making friends with some other guests.  They were only gone a few minutes but they looked at us like we’d abandoned them.  So after a few more minutes of packing and checking out, we went to another diner, the Original Astronomical Diner.  No idea why it’s called that, but the food was good, cheap, plentiful and the waitress was a hoot!

Ugh, long drive home.  Listened to CDs we’d bought in one of our shopping forays.  Good stuff.  But we were both waiting for our big stop on the way home.


It’s our favorite chicken restaurant of all time.  It’s spicy, but not too spicy.  The chicken pieces are huge.  The biscuits are fresh made and real proper biscuits.  The sides are excellent.  They sell breakfast biscuits full of ham or chicken or sausage and other meats.  They sell biscuit sandwiches all day long.  Our favorite is the 3 wing combo that includes a biscuit and one side and a drink.  You only find these restaurants way down south.  In Virginia, the closest one is right next to the border of North Carolina.  We were thrilled to see one on the peninsula on our first arrival a year ago.  We’ve only been a couple of times because it’s about an hour and fifteen minute drive away.  So worth it, though.  But since we were passing it anyway, we stopped and got a big box of chicken to go.  Of course, then we had to put up with the aroma of perfect fried chicken the rest of the way home.

We arrived home to a fanfare of blossoms.  Nearly all our flowering plants welcomed us back with a bright, colorful display.  The pineapple sage had stalks of bright red flowers.  The morning glories had opened up a bunch of blossoms in the bushes.  Our purple obedience had exploded while we were gone.  We even had some new pansies.  So happy to be home, but so happy we took the trip.


On a more somber note, on today’s date in 1998, a young man named Matthew Shepherd died after being brutally beaten and left tied to a wire fence in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming.  On Oct. 6, he was in a gay bar and approached two men in the bar.  They went to one of the men’s car for a drive.  During the drive, the two men attacked him, beating him about the head.  Once they were far from town, they continued their beating and torture, finally leaving him for dead tied to a fence on the roadside.  A few hours later, Matthew was found, still alive and taken to a nearby hospital.  He clung to life for six days, finally succumbing to his injuries.  He passed away from this life, but changed the world.  The two men were found and tried and found guilty and are now serving life sentences without possibility of parole.  From the moment Matthew died, the country and the world decided this should not happen any longer.  I always remember him on Oct 12.


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